Google Ads 101

Google Ads 101

It can be intimidating and overwhelming when you’re getting started with Google Ads. Diving in without a solid understanding of how Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads work can be a costly mistake. We’ve been in the Google Ads game a long time, so we’ve put together a primer to help you grasp the basics of display advertising.

Google vs. The Other Guys

An incredible amount of traffic flows through Google. In a single day, over 250 million unique users will visit the site. In fact, there are 85,515 searches EACH SECOND. That’s some serious traffic, and some serious opportunity. Google isn’t the only website in the search game, but they dominate their competition. Below you’ll find a chart displaying the market shares of leading search engines over the past decade. Do you even notice the “other guys?”

Search Engine Market Share
Search Engine Market Share 2010-2020

How Google Works

Ads (paid results) appear first and are clearly marked. If there are map results, they will be shown next. Finally, organic (SEO/unpaid) search results display. If you’d like to learn more about SEO, we’ve discussed some strategic aspects here.

But how does Google determine which ads to show? And how do you make sure your ads are chosen?


Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) works like an auction. After determining search queries that you would like your ad to appear for, you set a maximum bid amount that you’re willing to pay. However, you only pay that amount if they click your ad. An ad that is displayed but isn’t clicked costs you nothing. Hence, the name Pay-Per-Click (PPC.)

Google Ads deviate from a regular auction in a few important ways. First, the highest bidder doesn’t always win. Quality score is a ranking system that Google uses that affects which ads are shown. Your quality score is based on your landing page’s content and how well it matches both the search term and the search intent.

High quality + relevance = high click-through-rates (CTR’s.) Creating content that Google loves does more than increase your ad rankings. Quality content also lowers your cost-per-click and improves your organic rankings. Win-win.


Good news if you’re hesitant: Google doesn’t leave you in the dark, wondering if your ads are working. Google Analytics provides a wealth of analytics data regarding your keywords, relevance scores, CTR’s, conversion tracking, and more. You’ll be able to evaluate your Google Ads campaign performance and adjust accordingly.

How Pixaura Can Help

Sound simple? Probably not. The competitive aspect of Google Ads means you’ve gotta stay on top of things on an almost daily basis. Your ads can get more complex; you may need to bid on your own company name – because your competitors certainly are. The last thing you want is to show up first in organic results, but have several competitors’ ads shown first!

Industries have different levels of competition that determine the ad costs you can expect. For an estimate on how much revenue you could see in your particular industry, check out our Google Ads calculator.

Ready to get started? Drop us a line and we’ll discuss your specific needs.